PALEO– IT’S NOT JUST FOR CROSSFITERS
by Kelly Groff – Team Jeremy Scott Fitness
When you hear Paleo most people think of crossfit. But what is Paleo and why does it seem to only be linked to crossfit. Paleo is short for Paleolithic or also called the Cave man diet. It’s a simple eating lifestyle that consists of Meat, Vegetables and Fat.
What Can You Eat on the Paleo Diet?
Here is the “YES” list, or what I like to call the “REAL” food list:
First, eat whole foods! Because our bodies are particularly well-designed to digest them and to use the nutrients they offer.
Meats and Eggs: .They provide complete protein, which means that they contain all of the amino acids required by the body.
Seafood and Shellfish: These foods are excellent sources of protein and rich omega-3 fatty acids, plus vitamins and minerals.
Vegetables: A slew of scientific studies have shown the incredible benefits of the health-promoting nutrients in vegetables.
Fruits: They are flavorful, refreshing and are full of healthful nutrients. I recommend eating lower-sugar fruits. Think berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.
Nuts and Seeds: They may be small in size, but they are big when it comes to nutrition. Nuts and seeds are not only a rich source of vitamins and minerals, but many of them contain monounsaturated fats and phytonutrients (healthful substances found in plant foods) that do wonders for promoting overall health. However, just because nuts and seeds are good for you does not mean to consume vast quantities of them, (which is always my problem! J )Or that all nuts and seeds are equally good for you. One of the best ones out there is raw unsalted almonds
Healthy Fats: we want healthy fats that are high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats in foods like avocado, coconut, and olive oil to help your body absorb crucial vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
The “NO” list:
The primary Paleo principle here is to get rid of the junk! That means all processed and packaged foods, of course, but also some foods that are seemingly healthy..
Processed and Packaged Foods: STAY AWAY FROM THE drive-thru window, anything housed in a colorful cardboard or plastic box, anything with a long list of ingredients you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce, and almost anything you can find in the middle aisles of your grocery store. Basically, anything that is not real food.
Added Sugars: Added sugars—including granulated sugar, brown sugar, artificial sugars, honey, agave nectar, etc.—all trigger spikes in blood sugar and require your body to secrete large amounts of insulin to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range.
Grains and Grain-like Seeds: These include, but are not limited to, wheat, barley, rye, spelt, corn, rice, quinoa, millet, bulgur wheat, buckwheat, and amaranth (and foods made with these). The prevailing nutritional opinion says that whole grains should make up a significant part of your diet.
Legumes: Although they do contain protein, vitamins, and minerals, their protein is incomplete (unlike animal products, they don’t contain all of the amino acids we need), and because of their high carbohydrate concentration, they don’t count as nutrient-dense. In addition, all beans (including black, pinto, kidney, white, and garbanzo), lentils, peas, and peanuts contain inflammatory lectins, plus other anti-nutrients such as phytates that can rob the body of valuable minerals.
Soy: Soy is, in fact, a legume, but I pulled it out from my discussion above because it hides in so many of our processed foods (read your labels!) and has some unique characteristics. For instance, soy contains high concentrations of phytoestrogens, plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen in our bodies.
Dairy: This includes cow, sheep, and goat milk or cheese, and anything made with these. Milk is one of the eight most common food allergens, and the milk proteins casein and whey are usually to blame. Diary can also bloat the stomach area.
Now reading this “cheat sheet” of Paleo many of you who have worked out at Jeremy Scott Fitness may say to yourself wow this sounds familiar. Yes we may not preach the Paleo lifestyle but we do have many similarities of what “clean eating” is and the Paleo lifestyle is just that plain and simple two words “CLEAN EATING”.